Vidisha: Three dead bodies were retrieved from a well which had caved in during the rescue operation of a teenager boy in Ganjbasoda town of Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh on Friday.
Thirteen-year-old Ravi Ahirwar, a local resident, had fallen into the well at around 6pm, said locals and claimed that the rescue had started at around 10pm. Around 20 locals were rescued by late evening.
The local administration said 11 others remain missing from the village from different families. While officers refused to put out the numbers of missing people on record, a senior officer said that locals have counted the total number of people missing after Thursday evening’s mishap as eleven.
Minister in-charge of the district, Vishwas Sarang, told News18 that the incident happened at around 7.30 pm on Thursday in Lal Pathar area of Ganjbasoda in Vidisha. A girl had fallen into a well and locals gathered to rescue her but the boundaries of the well caved in due to the weight and several people fell in the well.
The rescue is on and the exact number of casualties will be known only after the operation is complete, the administration said.
Sources said that three rescuers had also fallen into the well on Thursday night but were saved with quick efforts. The operation was hindered due to the darkness. Villagers fear that 15 to 20 others could be under the debris.
Locals alleged that the rescue wasn’t started timely but Bhopal divisional commissioner Kavindra Kiyawat, who was at the spot, dismissed these allegations as baseless, saying the SDRF, NDRF teams and senior officers had reached the spot after the incident. The officer said rescuers were practicing caution so as not to harm those trapped in the debris.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was in Vidisha for the marriage of his adopted daughters on Thursday, had converted the marriage venue into a control room monitoring the situation.
Chouhan has announced Rs five lakh ex-gratia next for the kin of those who died in the mishap and Rs 5,000 each for the free treatment of the injured.
Congress former president Rahul Gandhi, Shivraj Chouhan, PCC chief Kamal Nath, union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and others condoled the deaths.
Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja alleged that rescue operation was hampered as administration was busy with preparations of Chouhan’s daughter’s marriage. “Knowing the gravity of the situation, the chief minister should have reached the spot,” he added.